By DE Editors
SolidWorks Workbook Helps Intermediates
Conceptual Product Development, Inc. (West Caldwell, NJ; docwalt.com) has released Doctor Walt’s SolidWorks Workbook by Walt Silva, the third book in a series on SolidWorks versions 2003 and 2004. This 392-page book designed for the intermediate part modeling and assemblies user covers using design tables to drive part configuration, simulations of assemblies, development of more complex injection molded parts, and sheet metal design. Each phase is described in discrete steps, with screen shots showing the progress. Price: $64.95.
Doctor Walt’s SolidWorks Workbook from Conceptual Product Development received the most Reader Service responses in our June 2004 issue. Vote for your favorite product from this issue by visiting the Reader Service module.
UGS Launches New E-factory Layout and Material Handling Solutions
UGS (Maryland Heights, MO; ugs.com) recently announced the concurrent release of two E-factory applications: Factory CAD and Factory Flow Versions 9.0. Together, the two software solutions help users design more accurate digital representations of their plants, capture plant layouts for future reuse, and optimize the flow of material through the plant.
Factory CAD Version 9.0 offers several new features for designing more accurate plant layouts. Enhancements to the XML Object Builder enable users to design customized equipment that precisely reflects their company’s equipment. Dialog boxes for defining these custom objects can be tailored to specific requirements, simplifying the task in future designs. Another feature is the XML System Builder for grouping a set of custom or standard objects together into a single system that can be parametrically defined. And library manager enhancements means easier access to these objects for reuse.
Factory Flow lets engineers optimize plant layouts based on material flow distances, frequency, and costs. Version 9.0 includes improvements that speed up calculations by as much as 80 percent, so users can conduct more what-if analyses on material handling requirements. The new data update wizard makes it easier to manage flow data and to handle data changes. Other key features include enhancements to the way users work with vehicles, and a new route solver to design optimal routes based on the number of vehicles, capacity constraints, route times, windows for delivery, and delivery precedence. Another key feature works on operator walk paths to reduce operator walking time and distance.
@Last Releases SketchUp 4.0
SketchUp 4.0 is the tenth release of the 3D design software from @Last Software, Inc. (Boulder, CO; sketchup.com), and is currently shipping. SketchUp’s user interface allows quick and easy 3D model sketching, modification, and presentation. Calling it intuitive and fun to use, @Last CEO Brad Schell says the intent was to keep “to a small, yet very powerful toolset.”
One of the program’s new features is The Intersector, which allows users to intersect complex shapes by manually drawing intersecting edges with one mouse click. SketchUp 4.0 also includes Follow Me, a tool that allows users to push or pull a surface along a path; Texture Tweaker, which provides for any texture or photo to be stretched and manipulated across any continuous surface; Face Me, a tool that makes 2D components appear to be 3D; and a powerful Ruby scripting interface.
SketchUp for Windows and Macintosh OS X is available in 11 languages. For a free trial download and more information, visit sketchup.com. Price: $495; $95 (existing user upgrade).
Display Data in Many Formats
The RD8900 Series from Omega (Stamford, CT; omega.com) paperless recorder offers real-time display of data in a variety of formats on a high-resolution (VGA) color TFT display. The user-friendly unit with plug and play cards can be set to monitor, record, and evaluate any application. The user can access data on the screen as well as from a remote site via the standard Ethernet or optional RS233/422/485 serial interface. The historical data can be stored in a flash ROM, compact flash card, or collected in a remote host PC for evaluation and print out. The unit’s compact size saves space and requires less than 7 inches behind a panel. Price: $1,945.
GTXRaster CAD Series Version 8.5 for AutoCAD 2005 Announced
GTX Corporation (Scottsdale, AZ; gtx.com) recently announced GTXRaster CAD Series Version 8.5, fully optimized and tested to run in the AutoCAD 2005 environment. A number of enhancements to ensure the full compatibility between the GTXRaster CAD Series Version 8.5 products and AutoCAD 2005, include the ability to handle and rasterize the new entities in AutoCAD 2005. The new GTXRaster CAD Series Version 8.5 products have been updated to include a number of other minor amendments and “bug fixes,” as well as all the latest documentation and online help information.
The GTXRaster CAD Series Version 8.5 includes four product modules: GTXRaster Tools, GTXRaster CAD, GTXRaster R2V, and GTXRaster CAD PLUS. The GTXRaster CAD Series provides image enhancement and clean-up tools as well as raster and hybrid editing, raster-to-vector conversion, and intelligent character recognition, and is available as a plug-in for all AutoCAD releases since R13. Complete details regarding the GTXRaster CAD Series are available at gtx.com.
Integrate Modeling, Drafting, Surfacing, and Rendering
Delcam, Inc. (Windsor, Ont; delcam.com) has launched a new version of its PowerSHAPE hybrid-modeling software for designers of complex shapes such as those found in the ceramics, packaging, sports equipment, and other industries. PowerSHAPE Pro includes all of the surface and solid modeling capabilities within PowerSHAPE, together with the PS-Draft drafting software and the PS-Render system for generating photorealistic images.
It combines the speed of solid modeling and the design flexibility of surface modeling with commands for both solids and surfaces on a single toolbar. It enables Boolean operations between surfaces and solids and it allows surface modeling commands to be used directly on a single surface of any solid.
<>PowerSHAPE Pro includes a range of morphing commands for global edits of CAD models, enabling rapid styling changes in a single operation rather than an extensive and time-consuming series of separate element modifications. It also features embossing technology that can import design features generated by external Delcam offerings. Its Solid Watertight Wizard enables solids to be created from surfaces with gaps and overlaps, and there are tools to manually correct any unfixable gaps or overlaps.
Systat 11 Sppeds Up Statistical Analysis
Among SYSTAT 11’s new statistical features are Monte Carlo methods, including Markov chain Monte Carlo, quality analysis, distribution fitting, and robust regression. SYSTAT 11 also offers the Mersenne-Twister algorithm, a random number generator. The Monte Carlo feature facilitates statistical simulation exercises in direct random sampling.
SYSTAT’s distribution suite has been expanded to 33 discrete and continuous, univariate, and multivariate distributions. Probability calculations (including density, cumulative distribution, and inverse cumulative distribution functions) and fitting of distributions can be accomplished in respect of the 28 univariate distributions; a desired number of random samples of the same desired size can be drawn from these 33 distributions.
SYSTAT 11’s new Interactive Graph Editor allows for more graph elements to be customized with fewer keystrokes, and without editing code or graph regeneration. Visualization offers easier control of zooming, rotating, and moving of graphs. For complete details, visit systat.com.
Visualize/Collaborate on 3D Mega-Data Models
RealityWave Inc. (Cambridge, MA; realitywave.com) is shipping version 3.7 of its VizStream Enterprise Platform for access, visualization, and integration of mega-data models and other industrial data within any enterprise application including PLM. Other data includes large 3D models, 2D drawings, large raster files, textual databases, bills of materials, and more. New features offer improved robustness, performance, and system resource utilization.
Some of the performance enhancements of VizStream 3.7 include improved compression and memory management; the ability to print locally using large format printers for any size document; the ability to implement different VizStream speed levels; large raster file access over the Web; and enhanced data integration and data associativity features, including object integration and selection by associated data. For more information, visit realitywave.com/products-vs-platform.asp.
Support Added To RxView/Highlight <>
Rasterex Software (Oslo, Norway; rasterex.com) has added support for AutoCAD 2005, MicroStation V8 2004, DWF 6.0, Solid Edge 15, PDF 1.5, and MS Office 2003 to its new release of RxView and RxHighlight as well as the Web versions, RxViewX and RxHighX. R6.2 also introduces text search and text extraction whereby all text from any of the 200 supported file formats is searchable, and the text can be extracted for use in database indexes, search engines, and content management systems.
In addition to the new support for text search and text extraction from a variety of data sources, R6.2 also includes enhanced and improved 3D rendering, general bug fixes, and filter improvements. For more info or to download a free trial, visit the company’s website.
Harmonic Introduces New Data Visualization Environment
Harmonic Software Inc. (Seattle, WA; omatrix.com) has released Data Visualizer for O-Matrix to provide a GUI-based environment for generating and manipulating 2D and 3D plots. Users can interactively create, edit, and manipulate plots and plot data or plots can be generated and manipulated with command line tools from the O-Matrix environment.
Power Solids and Power Booleans 3.0 for Rhino from nPower Software
nPower Software (San Diego, CA; npowersoftware.com) has released Power Solids and Power Booleans for Rhino 3.0, the latest version of its application to facilitate complex design creation and editing with filleting, shelling, and Booleans. Because Power tools maintain their operator history, they facilitate design revisions through the editing process.
Version 3.0 adds Power Surface Fillet, offering surface-to-surface filleting with variable radius fillets, high-order G3 continuity fillets, and fillet previews. Power Face Edit is a sculpting tool for editing the faces of solid objects.
Power Solids and Power Booleans are powered by SOLIDS++, a NURBS-based solids, surface, and polygonal modeling kernel from IntegrityWare. Additional features include face replacement, split face, and improved quality. User interface improvements include Quick help for all dialogs, a fillet preview display that shows the actual fillet result before command completion, and new icons and a toolbar for easy identification of Power commands.
Price: Free upgrade for existing customers; $295 (new customer/Power Solids 3.0); $195 (Power Booleans 3.0); $395 (Power Solids/Power Booleans bundle). For more information, visit npow ersoftware.com.
Inovate V7 Increases Speed and Simplicity for Design Collaboration
Inovate V7 is the latest 3D desktop product for creating, modifying, and communicating 3D designs from IronCAD (Atlanta, GA; ironcad.com). The design collaboration tool was designed to complement most leading CAD systems using a drag-and-drop 3D environment for ease-of-use, speed, design flexibility, and power. This release of Inovate offers a set of tools that is flexible enough to be used as a stand-alone program or as a component of a larger PLM solution.
Inovate V7 is said to bridge the gap between today’s viewer technology and a full-blown CAD seat for situations where 3D design concepts must be verified prior to being committed to a formal detail design process. It allows the quick exploration of 3D design concepts, and eases the communication of those ideas through photorealistic images and realistic motion animations in the collaborative process.
Its support for data translators (IGES, STEP, ACIS, Parasolid, CATIA, Pro/E, STL, and more) enables data exchange with today’s leading CAD systems. Once in Inovate, the user can fully edit the model data (not just a subset of recognized features) enhancing both upstream and downstream design collaboration.
For a free 60-day trial download and a more complete view of Inovate V7, visit the company’s website.
PGI Workstation 5.2 Features Full Fortran 95, 64-bit Linux Support
The Portland Group (Portland, OR; pgroup.com) is shipping version 5.2 of PGI Workstation, a suite of full Fortran 95, C, and C++ compilers and development tools with full 64-bit support. The PGI compilers and tools are used on Linux workstations, servers, and clusters based on AMD64 and IA32 processors to build high-performance computing (HPC) applications for complex modeling and simulations in a variety of fields.
As part of an ongoing effort to build the infrastructure of high-performance 64-bit applications available for AMD64, The Portland Group collaborated with application vendors, authors of key open-source applications, and AMD. Commercial 64-bit science and engineering applications either currently available or being ported to AMD64 systems using the PGI compilers and tools include ADINA, ANSYS, GAUSSIAN, LS-DYNA, MSC.NASTRAN, and RADIOSS. The PGI Workstation suite includes the PGF77, PGF90, PGCC, and PGC++ compilers for the Fortran 77, Fortran 95, C, and C++ languages, respectively. Version 5.2 includes full support for all Fortran 95 extensions in PGF90; full native support for OpenMP parallel programming extensions in Fortran, C, and C++; full support for the X86-64 application binary interface (ABI) medium-memory model allowing application data sets and data objects larger than 2GB; native integrated scalar and vector SSE/SSE2 code generation; and a bundled version of the ACML 2.0 library of numerics for math, engineering, and scientific applications.
The suite is optimized for both 32-bit and 64-bit AMD64 and IA32 processors. Performance improvements average more than 10 percent over PGI Workstation 5.1 on several benchmarks, including SPECfp2000, NAS Parallel, and the Polyhedron benchmarks. Performance improves as much as 25 percent on many other applications including MM5, MOLPRO, WRF, POP, GAMESS, and others.
CADViewer 8 Extension Support
CADViewer 8 from Tailor Made Software, Ltd. (Kent, WA; cadviewer.com) is currently offering DGN V8 and AutoCAD 2004/05 support with a new batch DWF printing extension for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Unix. This version of the custom viewing program for facilities management, document, and online catalog applications, means anyone with a browser can view, print, or mark up design data using DWF.
New or enhanced features include support for the latest DWF v6.1, AutoCAD 2005, and DGN v8; extensions for DWF batch printing, advanced raster image viewing and markup, and saving PDF files from the client; compressed DWF v6 file support; capability to add snap point for measurements; API support for measurement tools; new redline tools; and new supported redline format support. For more information, visit tailormade.com.